Ledgers, Graphics, and Carvings

By: Dr. Ricky Rood , 7:47 PM GMT on August 07, 2012

Ledgers, Graphics, and Carvings: Models, Water, and Temperature (4)

This is a series of blogs on models, water, and temperature (see Intro). I am starting with models. In this series, I am trying to develop a way to build a foundation for nonscientists to feel comfortable about models and their use in scientific investigation. I expect to get some feedback on how to do this better from the comments. In order to keep a solid climate theme, I am going to have two sections to the entries. One section will be on models, and the other will be on a research result, new or old, that I think is of particular interest.

Doing Science with Models 1.1: In the previous entry of this series I argued that if one considered the types of models used in design and engineering, then we use models all of the time. In fact, when we build or do just about anything, we use some sort of model to get us started. I ended the previous entry with the example of building a simple picnic bench that would hold three, two-hundred-pound men. Not only do the materials need to be of sufficient strength, but the legs of the bench need to be attached in a way that they form a solid and stable foundation. If the bench wobbles and the legs spread apart, then it will be unsafe. If we have experience of some sort, we construct a model from this experience. For example, if we have built or repaired tables and benches we have some ideas of good and bad construction. If we have no direct experience then we can find or ask about plans. These plans might be a schematic, a graphic model of the bench.

For those who do not build benches, but who, say, balance their checkbooks, there are models as well. The forms in a ledger represent models that have proven usable through practice or that have become standard approaches. Information is collected and organized: the check number, the date, the payee, the amount, the purpose and the category of expenditure.

These graphic, tabular, or touchable models are common enough that we develop intuition about their use. Introductory materials to climate models often use the words “mathematical,” “numerical,” and “computational.” These words take us not only away from our intuitive notions of models, but also into subjects that many of us find difficult and obscure. However, in the past couple of decades we have seen the tabular models of checkbook balancing coded as computational products such as Quicken. Design and architecture move to tools such as Computer-assisted Design. Recently, we have seen this combination of the world of digital models and touchable products come full circle with the advent of three-dimensional printing. In three-dimensional printing, solid objects made of plastic and metal are rendered from mathematical descriptions of the objects. I will return to this idea of mathematical descriptions of objects later. The point that I would like to make now is that using computers as tools to represent the real world has in the last two decades become routine. Therefore, in and of itself, the use of computers to make numerical calculations of the real world is common. It might not be as universally intuitive to people as a ledger or a wooden design of a boat, but there is large body of experience that affirms the value of computer-based modeling.

There are a number of steps that need to be taken from here to climate models. So far, I have been talking about models that are in the spirit of a work or a structure used in testing or perfecting a final product. In climate modeling, the final product of the construction is a model. It is the purpose of that model to provide a credible representation of the climate. That representation has a number of attributes. There is the attribute of representing what we have already observed. There is also the attribute of predicting what we will observe, that is, predicting the future. Therefore, the final product of the whole process is the simulation of and the prediction of the climate.

As with many words, there is more than one definition of model in the dictionary. Another relevant definition from my print edition (third) of the American Heritage Dictionary is “A schematic description of a system, theory, or phenomenon that accounts for its known or inferred properties and may be used for further studies of its characteristics.” (American Heritage Dictionary online) This definition is directly descriptive of a climate model. But like those introductions to climate models that I referred to above, it quickly goes to words like “system” and “theory” that are not quite as intuitive as I would like. This is where I will start next time.

Interesting Research: Attribution of 2011 Extreme Weather to Climate Change - Some might recall in 2011, I wandered into the contentious subject of the attribution of climate change to humans (collected here) and talking about communicating extreme weather events in the media (Shearer and Rood). The paper I highlight in today’s blog is a compilation of efforts to understand the role of planetary warming in some of the extreme events of 2011. The paper is Explaining Extreme Events of 2011 from a Climate Perspective edited by Tom Peterson and others and published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. This paper looks at six of the extreme events of 2011 and tries to attribute, in a variety of ways, the role played by human-caused global warming. (nice summary in New Scientist)

I want to focus on the part of the paper that discusses the extreme heat and drought in Texas in the summer of 2011. Much of that discussion is based on evaluating the effect of sea surface temperature, and specifically, the role of El Nino and La Nina. El Nino and La Nina are the names given to recurring patterns of sea surface temperature distributions in the eastern, tropical Pacific Ocean. The approach to this problem is to use models to make many simulations with sea surface temperature distributions similar to the La Nina conditions of 2011. Simulations were made for times in the 1960s and for the year 2008. The simulations provide an ensemble of many plausible outcomes, and it is possible to investigate the odds of a drought of similar extreme attributes as the 2011 drought occurring in the 1960s. The authors conclude that the warming climate made the 2011 drought 20 times more likely to occur now than in the 1960s. The authors point out that they cannot make statements about absolute probability. That is, they cannot state that in the absence of carbon dioxide increases and associated warming, that the drought would not have occurred.

This approach of using probability to discuss the impact of warming is an active area of research as well as an emerging way to communicate the relation between extreme weather and global warming. In the Washington Post, Jim Hansen has an op-ed piece that describes a paper which was released on Monday, August 6 (reference at end). In this paper Hansen revisits his metaphor that compares extreme weather in a warming climate with playing a dice game with loaded dice. That is, the dice are loaded in a way such that what used to be “extreme” will more likely occur. Going back to the Texas drought, that result mentioned in the previous paragraph says that the dice are loaded so that the extreme attributes of the 2011 drought are 20 times more likely. The takeaway message from Hansen is that we have, so far, underestimated how much the dice are loaded and that we have underestimated the probability of extreme events such as droughts, floods, heat waves, and yes perhaps, persistent cold snaps.


Hansen, Early Edition, PNAS, Perception of Climate Change

Hansen, Perception of Climate Change, Public Summary

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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Because sometimes we need some good news...

Since 2006, the U.S. has seen the largest reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of any country or region, according to a recent report from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

The report states that, during this time, U.S. CO2 emissions have fallen by 7.7 percent or 430 million metric tons, primarily due to a decrease in coal use. This decrease in carbon emissions is equal to eliminating the annual greenhouse gas emissions from more than 84 million passenger vehicles or more than 53 million homes.

While America has long been criticized by the international community for not taking a leadership role in reducing carbon emissions, it’s clear now that the work being done to move the country beyond coal is having a significant effect. Coal was responsible for 33 percent of U.S. electricity last month, down from 50 percent just 10 years ago. According to analysis by the Vancouver Observer, CO2 emissions from the average American are now at the same levels that they were in 1964.

What’s more, these reductions put America on track to meet and even exceed the goal President Obama set in the Copenhagen Accord of decreasing U.S. CO2 emissions by 17 percent by 2020.


Bolding eftir mér
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Quoting Birthmark:

But Phil is just a professional astronomer! What would he know about cosmic rays?

You're right. Probably no more than Carl Sagan.
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Quoting Snowlover123:
Daisy world, please read post 287, and read why the solar forcing is probably closer to 5 w/m^2 than 0.12 w/m^2. It has to do with an amplifying mechanism from Cosmic Rays that multiplies the solar forcing by a factor of 7 or 8.

We can also take a look at some mainstream media about your ideas about Cosmic Rays:

No, a new study does not show cosmic-rays are connected to global warming
-(Bad Astronomy blog, Discover Magazine, August 2011)
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Quoting Snowlover123:
Daisy world, please read post 287, and read why the solar forcing is probably closer to 5 w/m^2 than 0.12 w/m^2. It has to do with an amplifying mechanism from Cosmic Rays that multiplies the solar forcing by a factor of 7 or 8.

I'm sorry, Snowlover123, but not you, your website, nor the sources you quote are smarter regarding climate change than the scientists at the IPCC. It's just not happening. I applaud your tenacity, but you're feeding everyone here red herrings to obfuscate the established science.
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Quoting Birthmark:

So, there are two fields in which you are anti-science, then?

You are simply making the same claims that you did in the previous thread. Those claims were thoroughly refuted then. What makes you think that it will turn out different this time? lol

You believe that by cherry-picking minority papers, refuted papers, and sheer nonsense that you can tell a compelling story that climatologists are either stupid or inept. You can't...except to yourself and other anti-science types. At the end of the day, what you're going to be left with is frustration that AGW theory is going to stand, as is the Big Bang. That won't change until sufficient evidence is accumulated against them. You are woefully lacking in sufficiency, which is why you have to cherry pick.

Most of us have seen it all before. I know I have.

So you were making the paper up then?

Still no evidence that I am cherry picking papers either it seems.

I can see you are no longer interested in discussing the science of climate change.
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I don't generally "argue" points here, because I don't feel qualified to do so. I just read the posts and try to determine who seems more credible, and you always end up at the bottom of my list of credibility. You're the one who's wasting time with me - you have to convince me that that the 97% is somehow wrong. I didn't post my recent list of scientists to "prove" anything, but rather as a list of people I think are more credible than you.

It's fine with me if you put me on your ignore list, because it's pointless for us to continue this dead-end dialog. As I've said before, I'm very interested in the psychology of AGW denial, and you are a very interesting study. As a favor to you, I should probably stop responding to your rebuttals of my non-arguments. However, I do intend to continue to post my observations and opinions about my take on the psychology of AGW denialism, and if your posts reveal something interesting in that area, I will continue to comment about them.

I also intend to ask questions and participate here in "honest discussions" related to various aspects of CC and AGW as part of my attempt to further understand the difficulties that our civilization faces. I hope that some day your posts will fall into that category.
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Daisy world, please read post 287, and read why the solar forcing is probably closer to 5 w/m^2 than 0.12 w/m^2. It has to do with an amplifying mechanism from Cosmic Rays that multiplies the solar forcing by a factor of 7 or 8.
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Snowlover123, this is getting ridiculous. You've diverted this into a "it's all about the sun" discussion, successfully deflecting the real issue of anthropogenic causes of climate change. That's a very common tactic of denialists, and it feels like you've wasted even more webspace in this blog entry than in any other of Dr. Rood's blog.

For what seems like the millionth time: IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT THE SUN! Even if GCR has an effect on cloud formation (and that's very much an unsettled "if"), that's STILL one step removed from linking cloud formation to radiative forcing. Yes, there may be some effect, but it's inconsequential to what humans are doing by burning fossil fuels:

(From Wikipedia: "The figures used to generate this plot were obtained from the IPCC Working Group I Fourth Assessment Report Summary for Policymakers, page 16.")

Please, Snowlover123, I'm politely asking you to stop. It's become quite tiresome rehashing very old debates that go nowhere.
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Quoting Birthmark:

Find the previous thread where you posted it, and you will find the peer-reviewed, published refutation. As I said, I'm not here to re-post the same links every time you forget that your bum papers have been shown to be bum papers.

There was no increase in solar activity over the last 30 years. You have simply once again selected your data to suit your crazy hypothesis. That, too, is contained in the previous thread.

Cherry-picking and repetition are the bread and butter of denialists --whether they are denying AGW, the Big Bang, or Evolution. Some things never change.

A link to one peer reviewed paper that allegedly refutes The Scafetta an West 2007 paper I posted should not be that hard to produce, if what you are saying is true. The lurkers and I are both interested in this alleged paper that you claim debunks Scafetta and West 2007.

You are simply wrong with claiming that solar activity has not increased during the late-20th century. GCRs as measured by Ion chambers in Ahluwalia 1997 according to Yu 2001 (http://www.albany.edu/~yfq/papers/Yu_CR_CN_Cloud_ Climate_JGR02.pdf) have decreased by 2 percent in the late-20th century, reflecting a rise in solar activity. Lockwood et al 1999 also observed a 3.7 percent decrease in GCRs during the late-20th century, also reflecting an increase in solar activity during this period, which corresponds to a solar magnetic field increase of 41 percent during the late-20th century. This is a substantial increase that you, yourself are denying. Geomagnetic activity from the sun has been verified to be increasing during this timeframe, as has an increase in solar insolation reaching Earth's surface a measured by satellites and by weather stations.

Thus, the all of the other solar variables point to ACRIM as being a better indicator for TSI than PMOD, since the rest of the solar related indices all show an increase during this period.

I am actually a skeptic of the Big Bang as well, needs more concrete evidence IMO.
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Quoting Birthmark:

I already alluded to one paper (S&W 2007) that has been refuted in the scientific literature. Other people on this thread (and other threads) have also taken the time to direct you to refutations of other papers. No one is under obligation to post those refutations every time you take it into your head to re-post the same bad, ignored, or inadequate science.

The logical basis for rejecting your explanation is that your explanation isn't science. It is bits and pieces of science, almost science, bad science, and non-science.

In addition, it has to invoke several explanations to account for observations and conflicts with our knowledge of physics and paleo-climatology.

The Sun has been thoroughly rejected as the cause of the current warming over the last few decades, though it did play a larger role earlier in the 20th century.

Now, you may agree or disagree with that --but that is what science says.

Birthmark, provide evidence that Scafetta and West 2007, has been refuted in the scientific literature. Thanks in advance.

You can ignore all of the other solar variables that point to an increase in solar activity over the last 30 or so years, that is your choice, not mine.

I have already debunked your claims that my hypothesis somehow contradicts paleoclimatology (?) in my previous posts on this thread, so ironically, it is you who is repeating the same arguments, despite my prior refutations in the past.

My hypothesis also does not contradict basic physics. That is a falsehood.
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Quoting Birthmark:
Snolover, your "evidence" is severely wanting in three regards:

1. Much of it has been refuted or ignored in favor of better explanations.

2. Your hypothesis violates parsimony for no good reason.

3. Your hypothesis is not based on the comprehensive literature, but only a small part.

Until you overcome all three deficiencies in your argument, the only one you are going to convince is you.

Which of my papers have been refuted? What hypothesis can explain the observational changes in clouds during a Forbush Decrease better than the GCR hypothesis?

You still have not provided any logical basis for your claim that I am cherry picking papers, other than the fact that it is a baseless assumption.
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Quoting Birthmark:

Yes, you frequently post S&W...despite the fact that it has been thoroughly refuted.

Where has Scafetta and West 2007 been debunked? Link me up please.
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Rookie, I don't have a problem with the data, what I have a problem with, quite the opposite, it is people's dismissal of the data with no foundation. The lack of evidence for AGW being responsible for most of the warming over the last 150 years is a reason for skepticism. In fact, there is not a shred of observational proof that can only be explained by Carbon Dioxide that suggests a dominant role for the trace gas in the Glonal Warming over the last 150 years. So my question for you is this, why are you so convinced that Carbon Dioxide is the primary driver of climate change over the last 100 years, despite the lack of observational evidence for such a hypothesis?
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This is a response to Xullon, who argues that there was no trend in Solar Activity during the late-20th Century. Quite wrong, in fact, when we look at the evidence, and all of the other solar variables besides the PMOD TSI dataset that all of the papers that Xullon posted cherry-picked as evidence that Solar Activity has not increased during this timeframe.

In a previous post in the last thread to Bob Wallace I wrote,

Unfortunately, Usoskin and Solanki make a mistake by assuming that the climate should have already equilibriated to the peak solar forcing. It takes many years for temperatures to equilibriate to the solar forcing, about 7-8 possibly even more. (El-Borie and Al-Thoyaib 2006)(Raspopov et. al 2007). So therefore, even if solar activity did not increase during the late-20th Century, given that it takes the climate system 7-8 years or even more to equilibriate to a forcing, the argument is useless.

This argument that solar activity did not increase over the late-20th Century even more useless, because Solar Activity has actually INCREASED during the late-20th Century.

Dorman 2012 shows that the Cosmic Ray Flux decreases dramatically during the late-20th Century, indicative of an increase in Solar Activity, since decreasing Cosmic Rays correspond to a higher solar wind, and a higher solar activity overall.

Or how about Ogurtsov et. al 2003 that finds that in the late-20th Century, that over the course of a solar cycle, the late-20th Century had the LEAST amount of CUMULATIVE GCRs on record?

How about Carslaw et. al 2002 which shows a record low in GCRs in 1992, which indicates a significant increase in Solar Activity during this timeframe?

There is also a current controversy with regard to whether TSI increased during the late-20th Century. If one assumes ACRIM, up to 65% of the warming can be explained by the sun alone (Scafetta 2009)

(Scafetta and West 2008)

(Scafetta and West 2007)

The Geomagnetic AA Index has also risen during the late-20th Century, and I have posted one study (Georgieva et. al 2005) that documents that.

Another such study is Cliver et. al 1998. They estimate that the solar contribution is anywhere between 50-100%.

So cherry picking the PMOD dataset which shows a flat line in TSI over the last 30 years, while leaving out all of the other solar variables that show an increase in solar activity over the last 30 years to quantify the solar activity changes over the last 30 years is not a very good method at all.

If this were not enough, satellite observed measurements have confirmed an increase in solar irradiance reaching the surface (Pinker et. al 2005) While the 3 w/m^2 of increased solar insolation does not represent a forcing, when we account for the Earth's geometry and albedo, it does represent a forcing that is about equal to that of the anthropogenic forcing during this timeframe.

Also see Willson and Mordvinov 2003 and Scafetta and Willson 2009.

So yes, all of the other solar variables indicate an increase in Solar Activity during this timeframe, but if you cherry pick the PMOD dataset as evidence that Solar Activity has not increased, you are not looking at all of the evidence, and you are not an objective researcher anymore, since you are cherry picking to prove your false point.
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Quoting spbloom:
Tamino: PhD, published expert in time series analysis, past co-author with leading climate scientists.

Tisdale: A guy on the internet, one with a long record of error including many pointed out by... Tamino!

Other than that, no reason.

Tamino doesn't have a Ph.D, as many posters have corrected.

Perhaps you should check your facts before you make incorrect claims, you should do the same with attribution to Climate Change in general.
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Quoting BobWallace:
A what point does someone who continuously posts false information get labeled a troll and kicked back under the bridge?

Who is this troll that needs to be kicked under the bridge? What false information are they posting that makes them a candidate to be banned from this blog?
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of the forest canopy.

I will leave you with this one last paper by Scafetta and West 2007, (and there are a heck of a lot more solar papers out there than these that I posted above,) which presents some very strong evidence of Solar Activity being linked to Climate Change over the last 400 years.

The authors conclude that up to 69% of the variations in Temperature can be explained by Solar Activity. The rest may be due to many things, anthropogenic and natural.

Hope your handle enjoys being on my ignore list, because it will never leave it.
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Quoting Xulonn:
I guess Snowlover doesn't understand that I have a high level of interest in the psychology of anti-AGW syndrome, and continues to whine about ad-hominem attacks and offers to re-post his data for me.

Snowlover, I am aware that there seems to be a well-established link between cosmic rays and cloud generation. However, I'm not aware of any science that links measured theoretical cosmic-ray induced cloud cover increases to GW in place of anthropogenic CO2 increases as identified by isotropic evidence.

(Sorry, I've never had a good memory for details, and will rely on others who are more adept at finding and posting scientific evidence support or refute my claims. I feel that i still have a role to play, particularly in raising questions that lurkers might also want to have answered.)

Since you only seem to be interested in personally attacking the person and not the idea, this will be my last reply to you, before you go on the ignore list.

In my final post to you, I will sum up all of the evidence that supports that solar activity has had a significant influence on climate change, and that Cosmic Rays amplify changes in Solar Output, and have a pronounced impact on Cloud Formation.

Georgieva et. al 2005 which states,

We show that the index commonly used for quantifying long-term changes
in solar activity, the sunspot number, accounts for only one part of solar activity and using
this index leads to the underestimation of the role of solar activity in the global warming
in the recent decades.
A more suitable index is the geomagnetic activity which reflects all
solar activity, and it is highly correlated to global temperature variations in the whole period
for which we have data.

The correlation
between the two quantities is 0.85 with p<0.01
for the whole period studied

Meaning that 85% of the variability in temperatures from 1856 to 2000 can be explained by solar variability.

A highly cited paper, Cliver et. al 1998, which comes to the conclusion that,

Thus our extrapolationso f (1) and (2),
taken at face value, indicate that an increase in solar irradiance
could account for ~50-100% of the net global
warming over the past ~350 years.

Another highly cited paper, Palle Bago and Butler 2001 shows that nearly all of the Global Warming can be attributed to solar variability, and while this value is probably lower than all of the temperature increase when accounting for the anthropogenic forcings, it shows that solar forcing accounts for a major part of the 20th Century Warming.

Le Mouël et. al 2008 found that,

We then estimate the long-term behaviour of the
higher frequencies (disturbances) of the temperature series by calculating the mean-squared interannual variations or the ‘lifetime’
(i.e. the mean duration of temperature disturbances) of the data series.We find that the resulting curves correlate remarkably well at
the longer periods, within and between regions. The secular trend of all of these curves is similar (an S-shaped pattern), with a rise
from 1900 to 1950, a decrease from 1950 to 1975, and a subsequent (small) increase. This trend is the same as that found for a
number of solar indices, such as sunspot number or magnetic field components in any observatory. We conclude that significant
solar forcing is present in temperature disturbances in the areas we analyzed and conjecture that this should be a global feature.

Ram et. al 2009 find that Cosmic Rays have an important influence on the Global electric circuit, and therefore may be a primary driver of climate change.

Ermakov et. al 2009 found that based off of the strong influence that GCRs have on clouds, the Climate should cool in the next 50 or so years.

Cho et. al 2011 question whether the GCR influence is important or not, based on the South-North assymetry, and suggests that temperature should be re-analyzed as a function of solar activity, as solar activity may have an important role to play in Climate Change.

Belov et. al 2005 finds that you can predict with a degree of accuracy what the temperature will be, just based off of the Cosmic Ray Flux.

Perry and Hsu 2001 suggest that Carbon Dioxide alone may not be enough to explain past warming in Modern Times, by noting that it is "questionable" whether the increase in temperature is "entirely" due to Carbon Dioxide alone.

Kniveton and Todd 2001 found that significant correlations exist between precipitation and the Cosmic Ray Flux, suggesting that Cosmic Rays modulate the precipitation changes by influencing Cloud Cover changes.

Al-Borie and El-Thoyaib 2006 concluded that geomagnetic activity plays an important role in climate change, and the sensitivity to geomagnetic activity "may be real." A 7 year lag can be implemented between the geomagnetic activity and the according temperature to predict the temperature anomaly with a high success rate.

Harrison and Stephenson 2006 find a statistically significant relationship between the probability of an overcast day and the GCR Flux.

Ogurtsov et. al 2003 conclude that Cosmic Rays may be the mechanism in which the Solar Cycle length is linked to temperature, since a shorter solar cycle means less Cosmic Rays, and a warmer planet.

Stozhkov et. al 1995 find that precipitation decreases during a Forbush Decrease (sudden decrease in the GCR counts) suggesting that less GCRs lead to less clouds, and less preciptiation.

Shaviv 2008, Marsden and Lingenfelter 2003, Kirkby and Laaksonen 2000, and Reis and Serrano 2009 find that (or cite papers that show) that an amplifying mechanism is needed to explain the total forcing during a solar cycle. It should be noted that the last paper claims that a decrease in Cloud Cover during a solar cycle leads to a 0.8-1.7 w/m^2 radiative forcing may be underestimating the Cloud Cover effects during a Solar Cycle, since the Cosmic Ray impact is with the Low Clouds, and Low Clouds cool the climate more than just Clouds overall (Usoskin et. al 2004)

This means that the TSI forcing of 0.18 w/m^2 during the solar cycle is significantly amplified by an indirect solar forcing (GCRs) and leads to a higher solar contribution to climate change than suggested by the IPCC. In fact, assuming that the 1.7 w/m^2 value is correct during the course of a solar cycle, this represents a significant amplification in Solar Activity from Cosmic Rays.

This result is extremely significant when we look at how much TSI has increased from the Maunder Minimum. TSI has increased by 3-4 w/m^2 according to HHaigh 2003.

Assuming a median increase of 3.5 w/m^2, this represents a TSI forcing of around 0.61 w/m^2 since the Maunder Minimum. Taking a minimum of Reis and Serrano's Cloud Cover variations during this timeframe, it gives you a GCR-Cloud forcing of 1.25 w/m^2 during this timeframe. This is significantly larger than the TSI forcing during this timeframe, and represents a total forcing during a solar cycle of eight times the TSI forcing alone. Amplifying the TSI Forcing by a factor of 8 gives you Solar Forcing since the Maunder Minimum of around 4.88 w/m^2. This is highly significant when compared to the IPCC estimation of the anthropogenic forcing, estimated to be around 1.6 w/m^2. Since temperatures since the Maunder Minimum have increased by around 1 Degree C we can assume a climate sensitivity of around 6.5 w/m^2 for every Degree C temperature change, which represents a Doubling of CO2 to be around 0.57 Degrees C, no where even close to explain the warming observed. A 40% increase in CO2 should give you a temperature increase of 0.23 Degrees C at equilibrium, which represents about a 23% contribution from anthropogenic CO2 emissions to the warming since the Maunder Minimum. Since the net anthropogenic forcing is consistent with the forcing from a 40% increase in CO2, it can be concluded that the net anthropogenic forcing is also at around 23% since the Maunder Minimum.

Raspopov et. al 2007 found that solar activity gives rise to a pronounced temperature response, and solar actvity can lag temperature by many years.

Kilcik et. al 2010 find a statistically significant temperature response to the Solar Flare Index in the Mid Latitudes, suggesting a strong Solar Influence.

Mufti and Shah 2011 find a high correlation between Geomagnetic Activity and the Sea Surface Temperature, and based off of this relationship, they conclude that solar activity has a significant role to play over the warming during the last century.

Soon et. al 1996 found that Solar Variability can explain 71% of the variance in temperatures over the last 150 years.

The Solar Cycle Length has a pronounced effect on the Tree Ring Index values according to Zhou et. al 1999, suggesting an important solar influence on Climate Change.

Boshnicek et. al 1999 find an important role for Geomagnetic Activity to play in the temperature of the Earth.

Pulkkinen et. al 2001 Also come to the same conclusions as Zhou et. al above.

Palamara and Bryant 2004 concluded that geomagnetic activity has an important role to play in Climate Change, as it Labitzke et. al 2006, Mayewski et. al 2005 and Palus and Novotna 2011.

Feynman and Ruzmaikin 1999 found a role for GCRs to play in past Climate Change.

Dragic et. al 2011 found that Forbush Decreases cause an increase in the Diurnal Temperature Range, suggesting an important GCR influence on Cloud Cover, since Clouds reduce the Diurnal Temperature Range (difference between night and day) by reflecting incoming shortwave radiation and trapping outgoing longwave radiation, so a decrease in Cloud Cover in response to a decrease in Cosmic Rays would be reflected as a increase in the Diurnal Temperature range, which is observed during strong Forbush Decreases, and suggesting a significant GCR Influence on Clouds. The fact that as the Forbush Decreases become larger, the increase in the DTR becomes larger also confirms this relationship between Cosmic Rays and Cloud Cover.

Svensmark et. al 2009 found a close correlation between aerosols during Forbush Decreases and Cosmic Rays, suggesting that Cosmic Rays modulate the atmospheric parameters and Climate.

Cosmic Rays also have a close relationship to Tree Rings, and the authors of Dengel et. al 2009 concluded that,

We discuss the hypotheses that might explain this correlation: the tendency of galactic cosmic radiation to produce cloud condensation nuclei, which in turn increases the diffuse component of solar radiation, and thus increases the photosynthesis
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Quoting Snowlover:
"Xullon, you assert there has been no trend in solar "activity" over the late-20th century. That is not true at all."
Sorry for the confusing syntax. I agree that there are variations in solar activity, but I thought that there was no increase in solar "energy output" that could lead to global warming on the earth.

I believe the people at Skeptical Science, but I just can't bring myself to believe you since you base your conclusions what appears to a flawed understanding of how science works. Your reliance on discredited "studies," irrelevant research, and the spewings of denialists over scientists, peppered with the occasional good science, as has been pointed out by others on this blog many times, reduces your credibility to an extremely low level.

From Skeptical Science: "This conclusion is confirmed by many studies finding that while the sun contributed to warming in the early 20th Century, it has had little contribution (most likely negative) in the last few decades. Some examples:
Huber and Knutti (2011): "Even for a reconstruction with high variability in total irradiance, solar forcing contributed only about 0.07°C (0.03-0.13°C) to the warming since 1950."

Erlykin 2009: "We deduce that the maximum recent increase in the mean surface temperature of the Earth which can be ascribed to solar activity is 14%of the observed global warming."

Benestad 2009: "Our analysis shows that the most likely contribution from solar forcing a global warming is 7° 1% for the 20th century and is negligible for warming since 1980."

Lockwood 2008: "It is shown that the contribution of solar variability to the temperature trend since 1987 is small and downward; the best estimate is -1.3% and the 2? confidence level sets the uncertainty range of -0.7 to -1.9%."

Lean 2008: "According to this analysis, solar forcing contributed negligible long-term warming in the past 25 years and 10% of the warming in the past 100 years..."

Lockwood 2008: "The conclusions of our previous paper, that solar forcing has declined over the past 20 years while surface air temperatures have continued to rise, are shown to apply for the full range of potential time constants for the climate response to the variations in the solar forcings."

Ammann 2007: "Although solar and volcanic effects appear to dominate most of the slow climate variations within the past thousand years, the impacts of greenhouse gases have dominated since the second half of the last century."

Lockwood 2007: "The observed rapid rise in global mean temperatures seen after 1985 cannot be ascribed to solar variability, whichever of the mechanism is invoked and no matter how much the solar variation is amplified."

Foukal 2006 concludes "The variations measured from spacecraft since 1978 are too small to have contributed appreciably to accelerated global warming over the past 30 years."

Scafetta 2006 says "since 1975 global warming has occurred much faster than could be reasonably expected from the sun alone."

Usoskin 2005 concludes that "during these last 30 years the solar total irradiance, solar UV irradiance and cosmic ray flux has not shown any significant secular trend, so that at least this most recent warming episode must have another source.

Solanki 2004 reconstructs 11,400 years of sunspot numbers using radiocarbon concentrations, finding "solar variability is unlikely to have been the dominant cause of the strong warming during the past three decades".

Haigh 2003 says "Observational data suggest that the Sun has influenced temperatures on decadal, centennial and millennial time-scales, but radiative forcing considerations and the results of energy-balance models and general circulation models suggest that the warming during the latter part of the 20th century cannot be ascribed entirely to solar effects."

Stott 2003: increased climate model sensitivity to solar forcing and still found "most warming over the last 50 yr is likely to have been caused by increases in greenhouse gases."

Solanki 2003 concludes "the Sun has contributed less than 30% of the global warming since 1970."

Lean 1999 concludes "it is unlikely that Sun%u2013climate relationships can account for much of the warming since 1970."

Waple 1999 finds "little evidence to suggest that changes in irradiance are having a large impact on the current warming trend."

Frolich 1998 concludes "solar radiative output trends contributed little of the 0.2%uFFFDC increase in the global mean surface temperature in the past decade."

Can you give me a reason why I should believe you, an anonymous blog poster with a big blank in his scientific credentials who demonstrates a serious prejudice against the scientific consensus on CO2 caused AGW? An anonymous AGW denier? And I should consider the above published scientists to be wrong?
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Ah - but "blockquote class='blogquote'" does work - it shows up in a box in the published post, but not in the preview!! Man, did I waste a lot of time on this trying to not look foolish.

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What's the HTML code to do a quote in a box here at Wunderground? I looked at the source code for this page, and it appeared to be:


However, it doesn't show as a quotebox in preview.
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Rate of arctic summer sea ice loss is 50% higher than predicted

The Observer

Sea ice in the Arctic is disappearing at a far greater rate than previously expected, according to data from the first purpose-built satellite launched to study the thickness of the Earth's polar caps.

Preliminary results from the European Space Agency's CryoSat-2 probe indicate that 900 cubic kilometres of summer sea ice has disappeared from the Arctic ocean over the past year.

This rate of loss is 50% higher than most scenarios outlined by polar scientists and suggests that global warming, triggered by rising greenhouse gas emissions, is beginning to have a major impact on the region. In a few years the Arctic ocean could be free of ice in summer, triggering a rush to exploit its fish stocks, oil, minerals and sea routes.

The consequences of losing the Arctic's ice coverage, even for only part of the year, could be profound. Without the cap's white brilliance to reflect sunlight back into space, the region will heat up even more than at present. As a result, ocean temperatures will rise and methane deposits on the ocean floor could melt, evaporate and bubble into the atmosphere. Scientists have recently reported evidence that methane plumes are now appearing in many areas. Methane is a particularly powerful greenhouse gas and rising levels of it in the atmosphere are only likely to accelerate global warming. And with the disappearance of sea ice around the shores of Greenland, its glaciers could melt faster and raise sea levels even more rapidly than at present.
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:
I got to the party late and did not see what happened before my arrival. I removed this duplication of the data already provided.

Note to self. Read ahead before posting.

Rookie: No issues! I even replied to your entry! :-)
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Quoting Some1Has2BtheRookie:

I have found at least a partial answer to your first question:

"Another, quite independent way that we know that fossil fuel burning and land clearing specifically are responsible for the increase in CO2 in the last 150 years is through the measurement of carbon isotopes. Isotopes are simply different atoms with the same chemical behavior (isotope means “same type”) but with different masses. Carbon is composed of three different isotopes, 14C, 13C and 12C. 12C is the most common. 13C is about 1% of the total. 14C accounts for only about 1 in 1 trillion carbon atoms.

CO2 produced from burning fossil fuels or burning forests has quite a different isotopic composition from CO2 in the atmosphere. This is because plants have a preference for the lighter isotopes (12C vs. 13C); thus they have lower 13C/12C ratios. Since fossil fuels are ultimately derived from ancient plants, plants and fossil fuels all have roughly the same 13C/12C ratio – about 2% lower than that of the atmosphere. As CO2 from these materials is released into, and mixes with, the atmosphere, the average 13C/12C ratio of the atmosphere decreases."
- Information taken from here - How do we know that recent CO2 increases are due to human activities?

The Laws of Physics, The Laws of Thermodynamics and Chemistry should answer the rest of the question for you. Another consideration is that no other competing theory better explains the observations made than does the AGWT. NONE!

To add to that as a side note, the 13C/12C ratio is known as the "delta 13C" ratio, expressed by the "δ" symbol (little delta). It is expressed in the "permil" notation (‰), which is similar to the percent (%) notation, but represents 1/1000 instead of 1/100. The number itself is a value that varies from a standard known as Pee Dee Belemnite from the Pee Dee Formation in South Carolina.

Wikipedia has a good entry on it here.

The δ13C ratio of organic matter is an important biomarker for many studies that seek to determine the source material for carbon. Determining the difference between the carbon in fossil fuels and other carbon sources is just one application.
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Xullon, you assert there has been no trend in solar activity over the late-20th century. That is not true at all.
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Quoting Xulonn:
I'm off to town for brunch and free music in the Parque Central of Boquete, but I'd like to ask the regulars here to help me clarify something I'm not sure of, and in which WU/CC blog "lurkers" might be interested.

While there is still debate between some parties regarding the details and accuracy of recent and historical temperature measurements, there is large and rapidly increasing body of empirical evidence of GW. This has forced many denialists to accept GW/CC, but they still refuse to accept that the major "cause" is anthropogenic. (In spite of being smacked in the face with the reality of CC, some still deny that CC is occurring except for "normal" variations in "weather," but I think it's best to ignore this ill-informed group for now.)

Many people don't understand the difference between correlation and causation. There is supposedly a strong "correlation" between both cosmic ray data and GW, and tropospheric CO2 and GW.

Question 1: Do isotropic CO2 measurements and other factors provide reliable evidence that the "cause" GW is primarily anthropogenic?

Question 2: Is there any real evidence that GW/CC support the hypotheses, based on correlation, that GW might be "caused" by cosmic rays and/or sunspot activity in spite of the fact that total and recent variations in total solar energy output is not increasing?

(Sorry, Snowlover, I have no "proof" for anything I wrote. Sometimes your demands for proof are like someone asking why the sky is blue, and you saying "prove that it's blue.")

Your last comparison is not analogous at all. Poor comparison.
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Quoting Xulonn:
Great video, Daisyworld -your first attempt at embedding worked fine. I'll bookmark the link. Too bad it's only had 112 views - I'll publicize it as best I can.

Searching for "Richard Alley" on YouTube turned up a treasure trove of his CC/AGW videos - I think I'll "go to the movies" at the "Toshiba Satellite" theater this evening and watch a bunch of them.

And yes, I misspelled isotopic as isotropic - perhaps subconsciously since I now live in the tropics. Thanks for the correction.

The full 1-hour episode of "Earth: The Operators Manual" is available at PBS.org (scroll down halfway down the page, and the video is embedded next to the title summary). I highly encourage all skeptics of AGW to watch it. I actually had a chance to see Richard Alley in person last December at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union. He's a very friendly, charismatic speaker.

Edit: Actually I found I can embed that video as well (isn't the internet wonderful?):

Watch Full Program on PBS. See more from EARTH: The Operators Manual.

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Extent has taken a nosedive.

(If this doesn't display properly I'll copy/resize/repost. Anyone know the 'how to' for posting images on this site? Sometimes they display properly, sometimes not. What shows in Preview is not necessarily what will show in Post.)

eta: OK, this shows fine. In Preview only the first half was shown and at a much larger size.
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Great video, Daisyworld -your first attempt at embedding worked fine. I'll bookmark the link. Too bad it's only had 112 views - I'll publicize it as best I can.

Searching for "Richard Alley" on YouTube turned up a treasure trove of his CC/AGW videos - I think I'll "go to the movies" at the "Toshiba Satellite" theater this evening and watch a bunch of them.

And yes, I misspelled isotopic as isotropic - perhaps subconsciously since I now live in the tropics. Thanks for the correction.
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And in case our denier tries to claim that December was the coldest in 400 years...

And that's using the warmer baseline.
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Two different baselines, 1961 - 1990 and 1971 - 2000.

Both show that Europe experienced a warmer than baseline winter (a bit of December is excluded).

But the take-away for me is that we're going to have to watch to see if the denier camp cherry picks baselines in an attempt to make a point stick. If you include the 1990s with their warmer temps then you can hide some of the subsequent warming.

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Xulonn, you can find detailed answers to both of those questions over at RealClimate and Skeptical Science, both of which are reasonably well-indexed. Briefly re the solar business, no connection between cosmic rays and cloud formation has yet been shown, although I think it is generally agreed that there should be a small one.

It's unfortunate that people like Snowblower are able to create an impression otherwise simply by continuing to repeat the cosmic ray-cloud-climate meme. The social contract causes us to not want to believe that people would just make stuff up so boldly, so people who are uninformed on the subject tend to believe the falsehoods.

Anyway, the most recent RC article on the subject concludes:

While reported observed correlations between cosmic rays and clouds are suggestive of effects of cosmic rays on clouds, cosmic rays rarely change without other inputs to the Earth system also changing (e.g. total solar irradiance or solar energetic particle events, both also driven by changes in the sun, but distinct from cosmic rays). Thus, we must understand the physical basis of how cosmic rays may affect clouds. However, it is clear that substantially more work needs to be done before we adequately understand these physical connections, and that no broad conclusions regarding the effect of cosmic rays on clouds and climate can (or should) be drawn from the first round of CLOUD results. Finally, there has been no significant trend in the cosmic ray flux over the 50 years, so while we cannot rule out cosmic-ray/cloud mechanisms being relevant for historical climate changes, they certainly have not been an important factor in recent climate change.

Note that this is a very conservative statement. There is very strong evidence that cosmic rays can't have much effect on climate since none is detectable in the climate record from past times when the Earth's magnetic field has destabilized so as to allow through much larger quantities of cosmic rays.

Another point to bear in mind is that there is a limit to cloud formation in any given circumstance, there being only so much water vapor available, and it may be that there is generally an over-supply of cloud condensation nuclei (from dust and aerosols) such that any CCN added by cosmic rays are superfluous.

Finally, note the resemblance between all of this cloud speculation (not just the cosmic ray stuff but Lindzen's "iris" too) and the "god in the gaps" argumentation re evolution. Cloud processes are notoriously difficult to study, and so make for fertile ground (as it were) for irresponsible speculation and malign obfuscation.
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Quoting Snowlover123:
I seek the truth just like everyone else on this board. The balance of evidence to me suggests a more significant solar role for climate change than what most of you believe to be so. I want to inform the public how I see the evidence of Climate Change stack up for me. Sorry, but I do not get paid to post. That is utterly absurd. I have not made a single claim to any of you that you are being paid by green energy companies to promote AGW. I guess I am just more mannered than to attack my opponent by accusing them of being under the payroll of lobby groups.

Sad, really.

But what about action? Forget about your beliefs, where are you on action?

I-m guessing that your elaborate fantasy world (IMHO) beliefs just coincidentally lead you to believe something pretty similar to 'do nothing'. Well, what is it?
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Quoting iceagecoming:

My suggestion would be look inward, at the C&C who
can't walk away fast enough.


Besides don't forget the coldest winter in 400 years in Europe, just 6 month's ago.

You are absurd. I live in Europe and it was one of hte warmest winters ever, a few cold snaps aside. Many ski resorts went broke because of lack of snow.
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Quoting Patrap:
Dat be er, 2 Jar heads among us.

Semper Fi.

USMC Air Wing


Semper Fi!
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Quoting Xulonn:
[...] Many people don't understand the difference between correlation and causation. There is supposedly a strong "correlation" between both cosmic ray data and GW, and tropospheric CO2 and GW.

Question 1: Do isotropic CO2 measurements and other factors provide reliable evidence that the "cause" GW is primarily anthropogenic? ...

Xulonn, I think you mean "isotopic" CO2. Since I've done some IRMS work, I'll take a crack at this one. However, instead of a long, drawn out explanation, I'll leave this one for Dr. Richard Alley from "Earth: The Operator's Manual", who talks about it so eloquently. (If you can't watch this first attempt of mine at an embedded video, the link is here).

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Dat be er, 2 Jar heads among us.

Semper Fi.

USMC Air Wing

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Quoting Xulonn:
Daisyworld, I always enjoy your posts, and it seems that you must be an active member of the scientific community. I will not attempt to debate the science and quote papers, but leave that up to others who are better at that task. My work in science was as a lab technician, and I learned a lot from the scientists I worked for and with whom I associated. I also spent several years selling and supporting scientific measuring, and graphing/plotting software...

I've spent many years in the lab with several different professors and a plethora of other grad students, some of which passed their program, others who did not. Many times I was forced to work with older equipment that I had to disassemble and reassemble multiple times to get them working properly, learning every nook and cranny in the process. That's why when I know my machine is working perfectly, there can only be outside influences on my environmental samples. Climate change tends to be a confounding factor in my analyses, and if I don't factor it in for my experiments, my data will be wrong and make no sense. It is at this level that I know AGW is real, and isn't just a theory. It's something tangible for me; I see it in my instruments, and can account for it in my calculations. Therefore, when a denier comes along and questions the basic premise of AGW, I become recalcitrant, as I know that they didn't do the hard work necessary to come to the correct conclusion.

Quoting Xulonn:
[...] As I mentioned in my initial postings, I am interested in human nature and the range of human reactions to the science that paints a gloomy future for our civilization. Snowlover reminds me (and this is not an attack, simply an observation) of a patient on the open ward in the psychiatry department at Oakland Naval Hospital when I was training to become a Neuropsychiatric Technician in 1962. USNH Oakland was a resident training facility, and Psychiatry was one of the fields of medicine with several MD residents in training. This patient did not have a mental illness, but was unsuited for enlisted duty in the military. He had an IQ of over 170 and was one of the most intelligent people I have ever met. However, something must have gone terribly wrong for this young man to drop out of college and join the Navy as an enlisted man. I think he had signed up for a Navy electronics field, but he really did not fit in, even with a bunch of enlisted techies. He was more intelligent than the doctors, and soon knew more about psychology and psychiatry than they did. They kept him around longer than necessary before processing him out on a medical discharge just because they were fascinated with him. He finally was discharged from the hospital and the Navy with what was called a "personality disorder" that made him incompatible with military life...

You were navy. That's very interesting. I was army myself, and with OldLeatherneck here who was part of The Corps, all we're missing now is air force.

Quoting Xulonn:
[...] I tell this story because Snowlover is a fascinating character who is obviously very intelligent, but obsessed. He apparently feeds on the challenges he is finds here, and I am guessing that he might be influenced by the previously mentioned first stage of grief - the consequences of what we as a civilization face are likely facing are horribly frightening. The fact that he replied to an earlier post of mine 15 minutes after I hit the "Post" button, with a well written, fairly long response, a graphic and no errors in grammar or spelling was very impressive. I almost began to believe that it had to be a Koch brothers funded professional boiler room denialist internet response crew, and not actually a personally-motivated individual responding to my post. Or perhaps a highly skilled individual on the payroll of an anti-AGW group. We'll probably never know the real story...

I don't think Snowlover123 has any sort of disorder, as he follows a large minority of the population who have a tendency to cling to a specific set of beliefs; defending them by all means necessary without questioning where they come from, or willing to perform the hard work necessary to come to an independent conclusion. You mentioned earlier about critical thinking skills, and I feel that's the key with Snowlover123. That, and scientific literacy. Both start with a required skill set in math, science, and logic. Only then can you hone in a specific discipline such as climate science. Wherever Snowlover123 lurks from, he honed in on climate science without the vital base skills necessary to critically analyze it. From there, he found what he thought was the truth (likely supplied by someone else; i.e., another denier), and is now clinging to it with a death grip, defending it by all means necessary. I actually worry for him, because when he finally realizes what he's done (I'll give him credit for his intellect; I think he eventually will), it's going to be a very difficult moment for him.

Quoting Xulonn:
[...] Regardless, the "climate" (pun intended) here at Dr. Rood's CC Blog is quite amazing to me, and I am pleased with the civility of most responders to the proponents of discredited science and spouters of anti-AGW myths who pop up here regularly. The goals of educating lurkers, discovering and discussing information about CC/AGW science and countering myths and false information are laudable. Helping each other learn more so that we can at least attempt to counter the AGW denialists we encounter in our day-to-day lives is greatly appreciated, at least by me.

Yes, I enjoy Dr. Rood's blog as well. I've said in the past, he's a refreshing respite from the visceral anti-science banter on the rest of the web. Again welcome, and I'll see you on the internet.
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"Since SnowBlower's many posts seem to appear in rapid-fire sequence, are well written, with numerous images and references, I'm almost certain that they have been written in advance. How much of those posts were actually researched and written by SnowBlower individually is just a matter of conjecture on our part. Personally, I suspect that he is a part of a larger team whose goal is to obfuscate any serious dialogue about AGW. Whether this team is a group of well-funded professional deniers or a group of deluded amateurs is again a matter of conjecture."

It doesn't really matter whether Snow is an individual or a group. Or whether the posts were well planned in advance.

The issue is whether they contain truth or fiction.

I quit reading his/her/their posts a couple days ago.

When someone makes a claim, is presented with proof that their claim is incorrect, and then continues to make that same claim they've lost my interest. They become nothing better than the whacked-out wino that hangs out by the Post Office bothering everyone who happens by.

A person who cares more about furthering a political/business interest than in the truth, well, I've got no time for them.

BTW, not only a dishonest comment provider but also a lousy predicter. Arctic sea ice EXTENT, sea ice melt, did not slow but increased its drop on the way to an Arctic sea ice melt out.

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Dr. Ricky Rood's Climate Change Blog

About RickyRood

I'm a professor at U Michigan and lead a course on climate change problem solving. These articles often come from and contribute to the course.

RickyRood's Recent Photos

Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.
Clouds in the lee of the Rockies at sunset.